Archive for PE/VC News

Shop.ca Lands $31 Million Investment

Canadian online retailer Shop.ca has secured $31 million in venture capital investment.  The Series B round was led by Shaw Ventures, with participation from existing investors Torstar Digital, Slaight Communications, Difference Capital, and several undisclosed financial institutions.

Shop.ca launched in June 2012 and markets itself as Canada’s most comprehensive online retail destination.  This round of fundraising brings its total capital raised to $52 million.

For more information, click here.

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Wattpad Raises a Whopping $46 Million

Congratulations to Toronto’s Wattpad on its latest round of financing – a $46 million Series C venture capital round led by OMERS Ventures with participation from August Capital, Raine Ventures, and Northleaf Capital Partners.  This brings the company’s total funding to $67 million to date.

Wattpad is a social reading platform that attracts 25 million users who spend 6 billion minutes per month on the site reading original content uploaded by writers.

To read more, click here.

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Vancouver-based Clio Raises $20 Million

Vancouver’s Clio, which offers a SaaS-based solution for legal practices, has raised C$20 million in venture capital funding from US-based Bessemer Venture Partners, German VCs Acton Capital Partners and Point Nine Capital, and Version One Ventures, also based in Vancouver.

This is another fantastic example of innovative Canadian companies attracting growth capital from American and overseas investors who are participating alongside Canadian VCs.  We at Q1 Capital are encouraged by this trend and hope to see many more deserving Canadian companies raising significant sums of money from both local and foreign investors.

To read more about this investment, click here.

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Toronto’s Hubba Raises Seed Round

Congratulations to Ben Zifkin and the rest of the team at Hubba on raising a seed round of $1 million in funding.  Hubba is an innovative startup based in Toronto that is building a platform for retailers, manufacturers, and the ad agencies that work on their behalf to aggregate and share data from a wide variety of sources in one convenient location so that consumers will not have to scour the internet to find product information, customer feedback and reviews, social media campaigns, and other data that can help them make more informed buying decisions.  To learn more, click here.

This funding round was led byBrightspark Ventures.  To read more about this transaction and the innovative way in which the capital was sourced, click here.

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Shopify Lands $100 Million VC Round

E-commerce software provider Shopify has received an investment of $100 million from OMERS Ventures and Insight Venture Partners, valuing the Ottawa-based company at $1 billion.

Shopify’s platform helps small and mid-sized retailers to set up and manage online stores.  This transaction helps to cement Shopfy’s status as one of Canada’s emerging technology powerhouses as well as OMERS Ventures’ role as Canada’s go-to financier for tech companies that require significant amounts of capital to make the leap from start-up to serious player.

For more on the transaction and Shopify, click here.

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Toronto’s FinanceIT Raises $13 Million in Venture Capital Funding

Congratulations to Toronto-based FinanceIT on its $13 million Series A round of venture capital investment.  The company has developed a software platform and service that allow small businesses to offer loans to their customers to finance their purchases.  The service is currently only available in Canada and this investment will help with the company’s expansion into the US market.

For more information, click here.

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Toronto’s Wishabi Raises Big VC Round

Congratulations to Toronto-based Wishabi, which raised $15 million in venture capital financing from Insight Venture Partners, one of the largest and most recognized VC firms in the technology sector that has backed companies such as Twitter, LivingSocial, and Vancouver-based HootSuite.

Wishabi, which was founded by a group of University of Waterloo graduates, has built a platform for the creation, targeted distribution, and tracking of digital advertising circulars.  The Company’s technology has already attracted interest from large retailers such as Walmart, Target, Sears, and Macy’s.  As if that weren’t impressive enough, Wishabi has managed to build its innovative technology and attract some of the largest possible clients in the retail sector using just $1 million in seed capital, which it raised all the way back in early 2006.

This is yet another encouraging sign that Canadian companies are able to not only build timely and exciting technologies but that they are also able to generate attention and funding from leading international VC firms that are willing to make the kind of large investments that can have a meaningful impact and help grow the companies into global players in their respective markets.  We at Q1 Capital hope that this investment, along with other recent large transactions such as the $8.8 million raised by 500px and the whopping $165 million raised by Hootsuite in early August, is a sign of big things to come for the Canadian technology sector.

Furthermore, it is interesting to note that Wishabi isn’t the only local company doing interesting things in this market.  Toronto’s Uberflip has developed a digital publishing platform for creating online and mobile flipbooks for magazines, brochures, and other marketing tools and has attracted over 10,000 customers, including 1,000 that pay for its enhanced services.  With these two companies gaining serious traction, it will be interesting to see if Toronto becomes a global hotspot for digital publishing and marketing technologies.

For more information on the Wishabi funding, click here.

 

 

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Toronto-based 500px Raises $8.8 Million in Venture Capital

Toronto’s 500px, a platform for photographers to post and sell their work online, has raised $8.8 million in venture capital investment from US firms Andreessen Horowitz and Harrison Metal with participation from Creative Artists Agency, Rugged Ventures, Dustin Plett, and ff Venture Capital.

This is fantastic news.  500px is a great local startup that attracts 2.5 million users and a billion page views every month.  It is encouraging to see it attract interest from a slew of investors, including one of the biggest names in venture capital, Andreessen Horowitz, which has backed many successful tech companies such as Twitter, Facebook, Groupon, Zynga, Foursquare, and Airbnb.  The firm has made a number of Canadian investments recently, including the Vancouver companies Convergent.io in 2012 and Tiny Speck in 2011.

For more on the transaction, click here.

 

 

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